President Barack Obama spoke for about 15 minutes Monday afternoon to rally support around his plan to reduce gun violence.
That plan includes a ban on assault weapons, universal background checks and improved mental health screening of potential gun owners. However, he admits that people will need to put pressure on Congress for those proposals to ever become law.
"Now, changing the status quo is never easy. This will be no exception," President Obama said. "The only way we can reduce gun violence in this country is if the American people decide it's important. If you decide it's important. If parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, hunters and sportsmen, Americans of every background stand up and say: 'this time it's gotta be different.' We've suffered too much pain to stand by and do nothing."
The fact that President Obama chose to launch his campaign in Minneapolis stems from a series of youth initiatives put in place by Minneapolis police. Those initiatives helped reduce the number of young people injured by gun violence by 40 percent.
Brooklyn Park Police Chief Mike Davis says his city has many of the same initiatives to reduce violence, but he also advocated for the President's proposals to help make his job easier.
"For us, I want to make sure that no one who shouldn't have a gun, has a gun," Chief Davis said following the President's remarks. "I mean that's the primary focus. So it's background checks. It's making sure that the systems that collect data for the background checks aren't clogged. I mean it's a number of things that we've got to make sure are in place. So we can start there."
Before the President spoke to the audience, he met privately with a number of elected officials, law enforcement officers and local residents who have experienced gun violence.
For a full list of the president's proposals to reduce gun violence, you can go to the White House website.
12 News is on Comcast cable channel 12 in the northwest suburbs of Minneapolis and includes the cities Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Golden Valley, Maple Grove, New Hope, Osseo, Plymouth and Robbinsdale.